Petrozuata JV Willing to Comply with Tax, Royalties Hike
The Petrozuata joint venture company that operates one of four Orinoco extra-heavy crude operations in Venezuela will comply with the government's decision to increase taxes on the project, Petrozuata president Ruben Figuera told BNamericas.
"Petrozuata has always been a responsible company and we recognize the authority of the Venezuelan state and are willing to comply. And you can quote me on that," Figuera said during a phone interview. "In this matter - taxes and royalties - the Venezuelan state is sovereign."
Venezuela's national assembly has approved plans to up income taxes for the four projects from 34% to 50%. In addition, companies pay royalties of 30% of profits and 3.3% in state income taxes.
Petrozuata is extracting 120,000 barrels a day (b/d), which it then turns into 104,000b/d of synthetic crude. The plant's upgrading unit underwent its latest scheduled maintenance stoppages in late 2005 and early 2006. Another maintenance stoppage is due in 2011, Figuera said.
State oil firm PDVSA has 49.9% of Petrozuata and US oil major ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) the balance.
The four Orinoco projects produce 620,000b/d of extra-heavy crude. The other projects are: Ameriven, where PDVSA has 40%; Cerro Negro, where it has 41.67%; and Sincor, where it has 38%. PDVSA will hold an average 51% stake in all four Orinoco projects by year-end, according to the government.
Private sector partners include US oil majors Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Norway's Statoil (NYSE: STO), France's Total (NYSE: TOT) and the UK's BP (NYSE: BP).
Cerro Negro partner Exxon Mobil last week expressed "concern" regarding what it termed a "unilateral" tax hike.
Sincor said it is operating "as usual," producing some 180,000b/d of synthetic crude, although it lacks "enough information about the tax increase to announce a public stance about it," according to a company statement.
Ameriven officials declined to comment for this article.
Visit BNamericas to access our real-time news reports, 7-year archive, Fact File company database, and latest research reports. Click here for a Free two week trial to our Latin America Oil & Gas information service.
- Eni Secures Two Deals for Oman Blocks (Jan 14)
- BP Plans to Drill 6 More Wells in Azerbaijan (Jan 10)
- GOM Subsea Contract Goes to TechnipFMC (Jan 09)
Company: Exxon Mobil Corporation more info
- Offshore Australia Project Marks Step-Change (Jan 16)
- Venezuela Will Remap its Caribbean Oil, Gas Prospects (Jan 09)
- Offshore Guyana Wildcat Spuds (Jan 07)
Company: Total S.A. more info
- Saudi Aramco and Total JV to Hire SMBC to Advise on Funding (Jan 17)
- Deepwater Nigeria Field Starts Production (Jan 02)
- Total Spuds Well Offshore South Africa (Dec 27)
Company: Chevron Corporation more info
- Transocean Lands $830MM Rig Contract with Chevron (Dec 28)
- Premier Oil Eyes Bid for Chevron's North Sea Assets (Dec 13)
- Big Oil Battles Prolonged Gender Problem (Dec 04)
Company: Petrozuata more info
- PDVSA Underscores Pricing of Tender Offer for Petrozuata Project Bonds (Sep 12)
- Ramirez: Cerro Negro, Sincor Resisting Nationalization (Jan 17)
- Orinoco Projects Ordered to Cut Shipments (Jan 17)